On September 5, 1928, James Eugene Bassett left his sister's home at Bremerton, Washington, with the intention of returning that evening, but was never seen again. Bassett's disappearance aroused nationwide interest and he was made the object of a most intensive but unavailing search. The unanswered question remains: Could a legally sufficient case be made against any defendant for the murder of Bassett, assuming overwhelming evidence of the defendant's connection with whatever catastrophe may have befallen him, but almost no independent evidence that he was dead and not merely missing? Due to an unfortunate chain of events, the question was never answered by a court of last resort. It is the purpose of this article to discuss the applicable rule and its policy, against the background of the activities of the two people who were responsible for Bassett's disappearance.
Hayden H. Hilling,
The Case of DeCasto Earl Mayer and Mary Ellen Smith,
22 Wash. L. Rev. & St. B.J.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.uw.edu/wlr/vol22/iss2/3